summer

Painting at Priest Lake

Priest Lake is one of my favorite places in all the world. I've been coming here, to a cabin my aunt has, for pretty much my whole life. It is beautiful and peaceful and driving up there, I always feel is a bit like coming home.

The view from my aunt's deck.

The view from my aunt's deck.

Yellow umbrellas on the deck while eating at Cavanaugh's.

Yellow umbrellas on the deck while eating at Cavanaugh's.

We walked, kayaked, paddleboarded and ate a lot. A perfect long weekend. Do you have any favorite summer places?

Sketching at a Spokane Indians' Game

The first time I ever went to a minor league baseball game it was because a friend invited me. I had no idea that minor league baseball still existed! It was in Everrett and the hometown team, the Aquasox, were playing the Spokane Indians, who beat the pants off the Sox. I was completely charmed by the scoreboard with its manual score cards, the scarves and paraphernalia worn by fans, the fact that trash pick up at the end of the game was done by a Boy Scout Troop. Norman Rockwell's America was right here, at the baseball stadium. Fast forward a couple years and I've attended a few games here in town in support of my now home team, the Spokane Indians. When I'm not chowing down on a hot dog or Dippin Dots out of a miniature helmet, I sketched players and the colorful ads and accouterments of the stadium.

Recently I reached out to the Spokane Indians to see if I could come out and sketch at the stadium in some behind the scenes places and was thrilled when they said yes!

This vendor had a great sales patter routine, a highlight of which was "The sun is hot, this beer is NOT." Luckily, I found a tiny patch of shade to sit in.

This vendor had a great sales patter routine, a highlight of which was "The sun is hot, this beer is NOT." Luckily, I found a tiny patch of shade to sit in.

Sketched from the dancing mascot platform next to the Coors Caboose, you can see the smoke and haze in the air as the sun sets. I had to hurry to finish this painting so that the mascot could take the stage!

Sketched from the dancing mascot platform next to the Coors Caboose, you can see the smoke and haze in the air as the sun sets. I had to hurry to finish this painting so that the mascot could take the stage!

They let me up into the press box to sketch the scene below. I clamored up stairs and ramps that led up the back side of the stadium walls and roof into the box where I quickly discovered that when the crowd got excited, the whole box rocked! This made painting both challenging and exhilerating.

They let me up into the press box to sketch the scene below. I clamored up stairs and ramps that led up the back side of the stadium walls and roof into the box where I quickly discovered that when the crowd got excited, the whole box rocked! This made painting both challenging and exhilerating.

I was determined to try to capture a wide lens view of the field and stands from above, but was foiled by the limits of my paper and time. You can see the sky is dark here and before I was able to add color to the players or the crowd in the stands, the last inning was played and I had to clean up and head for home. It was a delightful night. Thank you so much to the Spokane Indians for hosting me!

I was determined to try to capture a wide lens view of the field and stands from above, but was foiled by the limits of my paper and time. You can see the sky is dark here and before I was able to add color to the players or the crowd in the stands, the last inning was played and I had to clean up and head for home. It was a delightful night. Thank you so much to the Spokane Indians for hosting me!

Now for a throw back to the past-a peek into my sketchbook last year when I went to an Indians game with some friends. It is fun to revisit locations I've sketched at before and try to get a new perspective or cover areas that I didn't manage before.

avistastadium sketchbookpage

Have you been to any fun sports events this summer? Are you looking forward to fall? Drop me a line!

Courtside Sketching-Hoopfest 2017

My first encounter with Hoopfest, the world's biggest 3on3 basketball competition in the world (yeah, the WORLD) was when I was in college. I went to Gonzaga where basketball is king so it wasn't surprising that a couple friends of mine would decide to play in Hoopfest. They played relatively early in the morning, around 11 and my foolish Seattle raised self decided that I should be ok without sunscreen that early in the day. I hadn't yet acclimated to Spokane's searing hot summers and the way they began before the 4th of July (many rainy fireworks shows in my childhood) and tragically underestimate the temperature and the way that all the hard surfaces of downtown-the courts, the bricks, and the tens of thousands of people would all conspire to make a mid morning adventure unbelievably hot. By the end of the game I was turning a shade more commonly seen on cooked crustaceans, but I still had a great time. The energy of the event, the hordes of onlookers, the intent faces of the basketball players-all ages from what seemed like toddlers to men for whom this was clearly their mid life crisis red convertible substitute. Players were dressed in crazy outfits such as overalls, clown wigs, weird makeup and shirts bedecked with bizarre team names (some from this year courtesy of the Inlander-Avocado Toast, Nothing but Netflix, and Bitter Aged Hops). I don't love basketball enough to assemble a team, sign up for Hoopfest (note that I skipped practice as a step here, because for a lot of people not training before the event is clearly traditional.)and battle it out in the summer heat on the blacktop, but clearly there are thousands of people who do. And I'm glad. It is fabulous local tradition that does great things for our community-the organizers of Hoopfest are the ambassadors of basketball fever, but also a force for good in our community, donating money to many charities and helping to build or refinish basketball courts all over Spokane. 

That heat partially addled my brain so I forgot to take photos while I was down on the courts. All my attention was focused on capturing the bounding basketball players and finding shady places to sketch! If you'd like to see more photos from the even check out this slideshow compiled by the fabulous photographers of the Spokesman Review.

Downtown Spokane in the midst of basketball fever.

Downtown Spokane in the midst of basketball fever.

A very common sight, teams waiting in their matching t-shirts for their turn on the court.

A very common sight, teams waiting in their matching t-shirts for their turn on the court.

A court monitor presides over a rowdy game.

A court monitor presides over a rowdy game.

Basketball on Washington near where it crosses over the Spokane River with Riverfront Park favorites, the Pavilion and Clock Tower, in the background.

Basketball on Washington near where it crosses over the Spokane River with Riverfront Park favorites, the Pavilion and Clock Tower, in the background.

I'm already strategizing how to get even more sketching done at Hoopfest next year! Start out early, break in the middle, and possibly find some buildings with a bird's eye view of the streets are all on the docket! See you there next year!